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Johannesburg, South Africa, July 10, 2010 -- UNIFEM SARO (United Nations Development Fund for Women Southern Africa and Indian Oceans Island) gives full support to its partner Man Up Campaign which is breaking ground during the 2010 FIFA World Cup by hosting the first-ever, youth-led, global summit to stop violence against women and girls. The summit will kick off Man Up’s five-year campaign and bring together inspiring young leaders from over 50 countries.

Since the inception of the campaign, Man Up has worked directly with UNIFEM to bring together the diverse group of men and women (ages 18 to 30 years) represented at Man Up’s inaugural Summit. This international forum is the first of its kind to fortify young leaders and their in-country movements to stop violence against women. To show full support of Man Up Campaign’s initiative, UNIFEM SARO Regional Director Nomcebo Manzini presented a keynote to Man Up young delegates about the UN Secretary General’s global campaign: UNITE to End Violence against Women, launched in February 2008.

“Man Up Campaign is honored to have the support of UNIFEM SARO,” said Co-Founder Karen Robinson “and cannot speak highly enough of Regional Director Manzini who shared a message of hope and inspiration with our young delegates at Man Up’s inaugural summit. UNIFEM has been an exceptional partner from the inception of the campaign, specifically in regard to our call for applications. Man Up Campaign now has 200 delegates from over 50 countries. There is no way our small staff could have reached such a wide pool of applicants – thousands of young leaders addressing violence against women in their communities -- without the support of UNIFEM and specifically UNIFEM SARO.”

UNIFEM SARO covers 14 countries and orients its work around the issues of human rights–HIV/AIDS; human rights-ending violence against women; economic security rights; and governance, peace and security. Manzini in her keynote also informed the delegates about the creation of the new UN organization for gender equality and women’s empowerment called UN Women. UN Women resulted from the merging of UNIFEM with three other sister UN entities working on gender. UN Woman will work as a giant UN organization to promote and advance the rights of women and girls worldwide.

Nomcebo Manzini, UNIFEM SARO (UN Women)’s Regional Director, a strong advocate of Man Up Campaign, has made a commitment to “form a giant force in the fight against violence on women and the youth. Our on-the-ground partner, Man Up Campaign, brings attention and resources to a critical mass of often forgotten citizens – women and girls who are victims of violence -- and this is why the movement is so important. Man Up represents a mass movement of young people committed to stopping violence. These young delegates have the power to change the relationship between men and women with their forward-thinking grassroots initiatives.” According to Manzini there is a complete synergy in UNIFEM (UN Women) and Man Up’s global outreach approaches and this according to Manzini adds value to both organizations.

Man Up Campaign young ‘delegates’ are at the helm of the movement and work with international partners and local grassroots organizations to build long-term, sustainable change in their respective counties. The purpose of summit is to develop and fortify the existing good work of Man Up delegates – men and women – who are committed to eradicate gender-based violence. When delegates return home, they will have a comprehensive, action plan to grow their grassroots projects into a larger Man Up initiative. Many delegates operate in isolation. By bringing young leaders together, Man Up Campaign gives youth a global network of resources, experience and support that never existed previously.”

Man Up Campaign’s South African Delegation had the opportunity to meet the SARO Regional Director Manzini and share their action plan to help youth in Southern Africa. Morwa Kgoroba (22-years old) and Onkatilile Lephadi (21-years old) started The African Girl Foundation which provides young girls (13-19 years old) from impoverished areas with job opportunities in the areas of international relations and business. “Before Man Up Campaign,” said Ms. Kgoroba, “we were told that we were too young to make change.” Man Up believes in our initiative and has identified us as future leaders in Man Up’s global movement.” This movement-building happens each and every day our 200 delegates collaborate online and in person. Young delegates will connect (beyond the Summit) to share best practices throughout the five-year campaign and activate Man Up’s thriving online community of stakeholders. Journalists are encouraged to interview any one of our delegates during the Summit, from July 4-11.

More information can be found at:

UNIFEM SARO Communications Officer: Rosemary Muchengeti
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Man Up Campaign Communications Director: Jessica Greer Morris

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